What is Levia.ai? THE solution that places conversation at the heart of the conversion strategy. The start-up, founded in 2018, responds to new consumer expectations in terms of personalised support during the online shopping experience. Interview with Lara Rouyrès, co-Founder of Levia.ai.
Levia.ai is a conversational commerce technological solution. Can you tell us more?
Our aim is to support our clients – both retailers and online traders – by providing a solution that initiates a conversation with the customer.
Our technology operates on all media used by the latter (websites, mobile sites, apps, messaging services, texts, and at points of sale via a tablet, etc.) and at any time during the clickstream (in the chat box, within a page category, on a product photo, on a search engine, etc.).
What is the idea behind recreating and fostering conversation online?
Tatiana Jama and I noticed that conversation had disappeared from the sales process. Before people could discuss products and queries in stores, but with the arrival of the digital age, this is no longer the case. Yet conversation is the basis of a commercial relationship between a customer and a brand. To improve conversion, we need to understand what the customer wants, to respond to their questions, to reassure them… Physical sales points thus have a transformation rate of 30% to 40%, depending on the location, of course, but also on the quality of the sales force.
We reproduce this experience on a digital interface, making a sales assistant available to each visitor. Artificial intelligence technologies are sufficiently advanced to allow us to reproduce a conversation that a customer could have at a point of sale.
You automate the process upstream…
Exactly. In the world of conversation, there are two approaches: offering a chat solution, where one of the brand’s – or the community’s – professional operators replies to a customer; or what Levia.ai has developed, that is to say automation of the process upstream. Our solution does what a human cannot in real time: it searches information from a product catalogue, in the customer’s language and using their words – which are not necessarily those used by the database, to provide a response any time day or night, and to guarantee a satisfactory response level.
That said, automation does not negate the need to sometimes pair the virtual assistant with a professional brand operator, responsible for handling certain questions, notably those for which an automated response cannot be designed.
Tell us about your Smart Selling Assistant
We have developed the Smart Selling Assistant tool which finds products while allowing the customer to express their needs as they would to a sales assistant at a point of sale, and cutting the search time three or fourfold compared to classic filters. Either the result is displayed instantly, or additional questions are asked in order to refine the search and produce 3-5 results. Once the results are displayed, we can respond in real time to technical and complex questions regarding a product. We also have a conversational CRM tool. The idea is to wait for the customer to approach the brand to initiate a conversation regarding a specific need. It is then up to us to coordinate this community using a CRM logic, by sending the right messages by push (in Messenger, WhatsApp, etc.) at the right time. The opposite of push marketing! The user thus regains control.
It’s ideal during peak sales periods, like the end of year holidays, during which the assistant can propose services like a gift finder or an advent calendar.
Can you give some examples of Levia.ai retail clients?
We work with Galeries Lafayette, Caudalie, Jennifer, distributors like Cdiscount, Leclerc and Carrefour…
For Galeries Lafayette, for example, we put in place a versatile virtual assistant in 2019 that was trained in the top sales scenarios.
To help customers find inspiration and discover new products, the assistant suggests the best products based on the needs identified for the consumer: Galeries Lafayette best sellers, fashion trend alerts, and the brand’s latest additions.
A virtual Personal Shopper also offers personalised advice. The user is therefore free to follow a framed linear scenario, or use the smart recommendation engine which can answer questions in real time.
Lastly, we have set up long-term support. The idea is to answer FAQs to free up the customer service department and to encourage customer retention and repeat purchases.
Tell us about the partnership with Altavia
Levia.ai has joined the Altavia RetailTech platform and our solution is now part of the personalised customer experiences offered by the group. We instantly took an interest in this approach, which involves the integration of several start-ups with complementary expertise in the same customer journey.